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Insurance Law

Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=462

AC37869 - Chicago Title Ins. Co. v. Accurate Title Searches, Inc. (Negligence; "This is an action by the plaintiff, Chicago Title Insurance Company (Chicago Title), to recover damages from the defendant, Accurate Title Searches, Inc., for losses allegedly incurred by Ticor Title Insurance Company (Ticor Title), another title insurer with which the plaintiff later merged, due to the defendant's negligence in performing a title search as to a parcel of real property in Hartford (property). This is an action by the plaintiff, Chicago Title Insurance Company (Chicago Title), to recover damages from the defendant, Accurate Title Searches, Inc., for losses allegedly incurred by Ticor Title Insurance Company (Ticor Title), another title insurer with which the plaintiff later merged, due to the defendant's negligence in performing a title search as to a parcel of real property in Hartford (property)...."

"On the record before us, we agree with the trial court, Bright, J., that the plaintiff’s claim sounds in negligence, not in common-law identification, and thus that the defendant’s arguments as to what proof is required to prevail on a claim for indemnification are inapplicable to this case. On the other hand, we disagree with the trial court, Wiese, J., that the plaintiff’s claim for damages to compensate it for the attorney’s fees and expenses it incurred to defend its insured in prior litigation is barred in this action by the American rule. Accordingly, although we reverse the court’s judgment denying the plaintiff's claim for compensatory damages in the amount of its prior attorney's fees and expenses and remand this case for further proceedings on that claim, we affirm the court’s judgment in all other respects.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=377

SC19585 - Gold v. Rowland ("This certified class action, which arises from a dispute over the proceeds of the 2001 demutualization of the defendant Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. (Anthem Insurance), comes before this court for the second time. The plaintiffs are a class of state employees and retirees who, at the time of the demutualization, were enrolled in an Anthem Insurance group health care insurance plan. They contend that their participation in that plan entitled them to membership in Anthem Insurance and a share of the demutualization proceeds, and that Anthem Insurance and the other insurance company defendants; see part I E of this opinion; breached their contractual obligations by not paying the plaintiffs for their membership interests and instead distributing their share of the proceeds to the defendant state of Connecticut. The first time we considered this case, we concluded that all of the plaintiffs’ claims against the named defendant, John Rowland, the former governor of Connecticut, and the state were barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity or otherwise should have been dismissed. See Gold v. Rowland, 296 Conn. 186, 205, 209–11, 994 A.2d 106 (2010). Following our decision and a subsequent trial to the court of the plaintiffs’ breach of contract claims against the remaining defendants, the trial court, Bright, J., rendered judgment for those defendants. On appeal, the plaintiffs contend that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the relevant contract provisions were ambiguous and improperly consulted extrinsic evidence to determine their meaning. Finding no error, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=344

AC37936 - Holmes v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America ("The plaintiffs, Oliver Holmes and Hannah Sokol-Holmes, appeal from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Safeco Insurance Company of America, on the plaintiffs’ claim for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in connection with the defendant’s failure and refusal to pay their claim for coverage under their homeowners’ insurance policy with the defendant for losses due to ice damming on their property in February of 2011. The court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to commence an action within one year of the reported date of loss, as required by the time limitation provision of the subject homeowners’ insurance policy. On appeal, the plaintiffs argue, as they did before the trial court, that the one year time limitation provision of their policy was superseded as a matter of law by the eighteen month limitation provision of Connecticut’s standard fire insurance policy, as set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 38a-307, because the scope of coverage undertheir homeowners’ policy extended to losses caused by fire, which are governed by that statute. For the following reasons, we agree with the trial court that that claim must be rejected in this case, which does not arise from or concern a fire loss, and thus that the court’s judgment for the defendant must be affirmed.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=325

AC36749, AC37140, AC37141, AC37142, AC37143, AC37144, AC37145, AC37146, AC37147, AC37148, AC37149, AC37150, AC37151 - R.T. Vanderbilt Co. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. ("The present action arises from thousands of underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from exposure to industrial talc mined and sold by the plaintiff, R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. (Vanderbilt), that purportedly contained asbestos. In this interlocutory appeal, Vanderbilt and the defendants, approximately thirty insurance companies that issued comprehensive general liability insurance policies to Vanderbilt between 1948 and 2008, are seeking, among other things, a declaratory judgment determining their respective obligations with regard to the underlying actions. Through a series of bifurcation orders, the trial court, Shaban, J., divided the trial into four phases, and the case reaches us now, following the second phase of the trial, on the parties’ appeals and cross appeals from several decisions of the court. Before the trial proceeds further, the parties ask that we address approximately twenty issues—primarily questions of law—that will significantly impact the adjudication of the remaining trial phases. These issues present a number of questions of first impression in Connecticut and, in some instances, nationally. Although most relate to the methodology by which insurance obligations are to be allocated with respect to long latency asbestos related claims that implicate multiple policy periods, the parties also challenge the trial court’s rulings with respect to the interpretation of various scope of coverage and exclusion provisions in the Vanderbilt policies, whether certain of the primary policies have been exhausted, and other evidentiary and miscellaneous issues. As detailed more fully hereinafter, we affirm in part and reverse in part the rulings of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=286

AC37828 - Aurora Loan Services, LLC v. Hirsch ("The substitute plaintiff, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered, in part, in favor of the defendant, Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Company. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in: (1) its calculation of damages; (2) declining to award attorney’s fees; and (3) calculating prejudgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a from the return date on the summons. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=215

AC38332 - Monroe v. Discover Property & Casualty Ins. Co. ("The plaintiff, the town of Monroe, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendering summary judgment in favor of the defendant insurer, Discover Property and Casualty Insurance Company. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in holding that the allegations brought by a third party against the plaintiff in a prior action (underlying action) fell within an exclusion in the applicable policy, and, therefore, that the defendant had no duty to provide a defense to the plaintiff. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 http://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=65

SC19600 - State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Tully ("The principal issue in these appeals is whether evidence of an insured person’s voluntary intoxication may be used, when an insurance policy excludes coverage for intentional acts, to negate intent and thereby establish the insurer’s duty to defend the insured person against civil claims arising from sexual misconduct with a minor. The plaintiff, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, brought this action seeking a declaratory judgment that it owed no duty to defend the named defendant, Mark Tully, under a homeowners insurance policy (policy), in a separate civil action filed on behalf of the defendant Child Doe. The defendants appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that, because the policy excluded coverage for acts ‘intended’ by the insured, Tully’s actions fell outside the scope of the policy and, thus, the plaintiff had no duty to defend him under the presumption of intent established in United Services Automobile Assn. v. Marburg, 46 Conn. App. 99, 104–105, 98 A.2d 914 (1997). On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court improperly rendered summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff because evidence that Tully was intoxicated at the time of the incident created a genuine issue of material fact as to whether his actions were intentional. Specifically, the defendants assert that evidence of voluntary intoxication may negate the intent presumed under Marburg and thereby establish an insurer’s duty to defend. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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